Number of positive coronavirus cases in India climbs 138% in a week

The number of coronavirus patients in India has risen to 74 from 31 a week ago. The latest positive case of coronavirus in Leh adds to the two positive cases confirmed already in the region.

Zakir Hussain was confirmed positive of coronavirus. Zakir Hussain hails from a village in Leh and is a son of Mohd Hadi, who already is admitted to SNM Hospital.

The latest positive case of coronavirus has brought the confirmed cases to three in Ladakh.

“Test of Zakir Hussain, son of Mohammad Hadi, came positive yesterday [Wednesday]. Six other family members have been quarantined and their samples have been sent to New Delhi,” health department official Sampheal Rigzin said.

Giving a state-wise breakup, the ministry said Delhi reported six positive cases and Uttar Pradesh 10. Karnataka has four cases, Maharashtra 11 and Ladakh three.

Besides, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab have reported one case each. Kerala has recorded 17 cases, including three patients who were discharged last month after they recovered from the infection declared a global pandemic.

The Indian government has made 52 laboratories functional for testing samples, while 57 labs have been designated for helping in sample collection for

Covid-19 to enhance capacity for diagnosis and detection of the disease.

“We have around 1 lakh testing kits and additional kits have been ordered,” another health ministry official said.

The health ministry on Thursday asked people not to panic in the wake of increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country saying the focus is on preventive approach and there are adequate facilities available for testing.

The total number of 74 confirmed cases includes 17 foreigners, 16 Italian tourists and one more foreigner whose nationality needs to be verified.

As the contagious disease with flu-like symptoms spreads across the globe, the cabinet secretary has said states and Union Territories should invoke provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 so all advisories issued by the Union health ministry and state governments are enforceable.

An Indian team of doctors will leave for Italy on Thursday to collect and bring swab samples of Indian students stranded there so that they can be tested before being brought back to the country, Health Ministry officials had said on Wednesday.

It also said the government is undertaking measures to ensure safety and security of its citizens in Iran after it became clear that the country was facing a COVID-19 outbreak.

Indian nationals in Iran include pilgrims, students and fishermen, the ministry said.

On March 7, 108 samples were received from Iran. These samples are being tested at the AIIMS laboratory. Also, six scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are stationed in Iran and have so far have collected swab samples of over 400 Indians stranded there.

“The first batch of 58 evacuees from Iran has arrived on March 10 with 25 men, 31 women and 2 children on board. All evacuees are asymptomatic at present,” the ministry said.

India has evacuated 948 passengers from COVID-19 affected countries. Of these, 900 are Indian citizens and 48 from different nationalities, including from Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, USA, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru, it said.

India has also suspended all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in a bid to contain the coronavirus spread, according to a revised travel advisory.

The suspension will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure.